12 Jul

"Trouble" hooks

“When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity.” James 1:2
When (not if) trouble comes. Trouble comes at work, at home and in life. 
Trouble is like having pimples as a teenager. They are coming you just don’t always know when. 
We tend to spend much of our time avoiding trouble. We need not encourage it but we might as well accept it.
SERIOUS QUESTION: What is troubling you today? 
I have been troubled/hassled by a lot of petty little things of late. These are small developed world issues I know but nonetheless these bees in my bonnet have actually been bugging me more than I realized. 
My issues are nothing compared to the challenges my friends in Africa, India and Honduras face but they have been dragging on my spirit. 
They have been like tiny treble hooks squelching my spirit. How about you? Any “trouble” hooks holding you back?
Reading this passage is very counterintuitive. What does it say? Troubles are opportunities. My first thought, get real God. Troubles are a pain in the butt!
Then it says, troubles are an opportunity for JOY! Really? That has not been my experience! 
But wait! I could try positive thinking and a good attitude. But that is kind of like faking myself out unless, yes unless, I go back to the opening verse. There is the key.
James says he is a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Oh, a slave! A slave! Who wants to be a slave? But in reality we are all slaves to something. Perfection, money, sex, fitness, food, kids, job and even our spouse. We are often slaves to our troubles! What does James say? He is slave to Jesus. 
As a slave to Jesus, my troubles are my master’s troubles. Certainly troubles come to the plantation but whose problems are they ? Yup, the master’s! I’m just a slave. 
If I focus on obeying him, my troubles are his problems. Ah and my joy is made complete in him. 
Send your troubles to the master. Ask him to deal with them. See your troubles as an opportunity for big daddy to take the wheel. Our joy is robbed when we try to take control. Remember the old phrase, let go and let God. 
He is the fixer upper. We are simply to listen and obey resting in the assurance that obedience is its own reward and being a slave has its privileges. Real joy being one of them.

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